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I never said I made First Class – Kachikwu

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has described as false and baseless report making rounds that he claimed graduating from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), with a First Class degree.

The minister made the clarification in a statement signed by the Director of Press in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Idang Alibi, in Abuja, on Thursday.

Alibi said at no time did Kachikwu claim that he graduated with a First Class from the UNN.

He said that the minister graduated from the institution with a ‘Second Class Honours (Upper Division) degree from the Faculty of Law in 1978, and also emerged the best student.

“The assertions in the publication are wrong and baseless and a careful check with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources would have cleared this misrepresentation.

“By every measurement index, the Minister has performed outstandingly in his school work and has records to show for it,” he said.

He further stated that the ministry observed that Kachikwu’s Wikipedia page had been tampered with recently, by unknown persons, and might have been re-edited for sinister purposes.

“On the Wikipedia page that was cited in the report, it would be expedient to note that Wikipedia cannot be used as an authentic source of referencing or verification of facts.

“Considering that anybody that has access to a Wikipedia page can also edit same to suit any narrative they want to claim or push.

“To buttress this fact, we have noted that Dr. Kachikwu’s page has recently been re-edited recently by persons unknown to him and to us,” he said

Explaining the video of its presentation at the Commonwealth of Zion Assembly, (COZA), cited by the report, Alibi said the substance of Kachikwu’s comment in the church was to the effect that he had a first class performance in school.

According to him, the Minister was emphasizing on the need for hard work amongst the youth to get them to the top of their game.

Alibi maintained that the official Curriculum Vitae, CV, and resume of the minister of state for petroleum resources was in the public domain and had been submitted to various levels of Government and Parastatal agencies.

He said: “Also line 6, page 3 of the document herein attached clearly states that Dr. Kachikwu obtained a “Second Class Honours (Upper Division) degree” from the Faculty of Law in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka where he graduated as best student in 1978.

“In addition, no First Class Honours were awarded by UNN that year. However, he was on the list for best graduands with Second Class Upper Honours for that year.

“He was the best graduating student in the Nigerian Law School in the year 1979 (the first in class) with multiple prizes (winning five out of all seven prizes given). In 1979, the Nigerian Law School had not begun a process of classifying its certificates.

“That begun many years later; however best graduands have subsequently now been classified in the First Class category by the Law School.

“For Harvard University, his CV correctly states that he was a Distinction graduate for the Master’s degree programme (First in Class) at Harvard University and that he obtained his SJD in a record time of one and a half years.

“The various academic awards received during his education days are clearly spelt out in his CV/Resume.”

He noted that Kachikwu had worked at the highest level of the oil and gas industry globally for over three decades and indeed lectured at respectable global institutions such as University of Ife, Nigerian Law School and Harvard Law School

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Tribunal sack: Dino Melaye reacts, says no cause for alarm

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The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district, Dino Melaye, has reacted to the nullification of his victory in the March 22 election and ordering of a fresh election by the Kogi West National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Lokoja on Friday.

Melaye, in a statememt, said the judgment is a miscarriage of justice and therefore, no cause of alarm.

The PDP chieftain further said that his legal team was already studying the judgement, adding that he would appeal it.

He said he was confident that the Appeal Court would upturn the judgement of the lower tribunal.

According to him, the judgement was full of importation of information that was alien to the case.

Melaye said, “I, however, commend the courage and moral strength of the chairman of the tribunal for resisting evil and standing on the part of justice?”

“I have confidence in the Appeal Court to right the wrongs as contained in the pronouncements of the judgement.”

He added, “I also want to tell those jubilating that their jubilation will be short-lived while appealing to my teeming supporters to remain calm as their mandate is safe and secure and cannot be taken through any mischievous means.

“However, our legal team is already working on appealing the judgment and I assure all that justice will prevail.”

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BREAKING: Tribunal sacks Dino Melaye as Kogi west senator

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The Kogi State National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal has quashed the victory of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial district.

Melaye (PDP) was declared winner in the February election by INEC but Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC) approached the tribunal, challenging INEC declaration on three grounds of irregularities, over voting and non compliance with the electoral acts.

The three man panel led by Justice A. O. Chijioke in a unanimous judgment on Friday accepted Adeyemi’s ground and order for reelection into the senatorial axis.

…More details shortly

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Sylva assumes duty as minister of state for petroleum …As NNPC, others welcome him

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The newly appointed Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has assumed duties with a pledge to reposition and chart a way forward for the Nigerian petroleum sector.

A press release Wednesday by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said Chief Sylva pledged to work with the experts at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the other departments and agencies under the Ministry to move the sector forward.

In a welcome ceremony for Chief Sylva at the NNPC Towers in Abuja, the new Minister of State for Petroleum Resources who was accompanied by his wife, Alanyingi Sylva, stated that with the calibre of workforce in the Ministry, he was sure that the nation’s oil and gas sector would move to the next level.

Chief Sylva, who is a former Governor of Bayelsa State brings on the job several years of cognate experience in the petroleum sector.

The new Minister of State contributed profoundly to the institution of the Amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region which, over time, has led to restoration of peace in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Folashade Yemi-Esan, reassured Chief Sylva of the readiness of all members of staff in the Ministry to support him to succeed in the onerous task of transforming the Nigerian oil and gas sector for the good of all stakeholders.

On hand to welcome the Minister at the brief ceremony were the Group Managing director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari; Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Training Development Fund (PTDF), Dr. Bello Aliyu Gusau; and the Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Alhaji Ahmed Bobboi, amongst others.

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